, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 185–197 | Cite as

Fundamental factors of comprehension in reading

  • Frederick B. Davis


A survey of the literature was made to determine the skills involved in reading comprehension that are deemed most important by authorities. Multiple-choice test items were constructed to measure each of nine skills thus identified as basic. The intercorrelations of the nine skill scores were factored, each skill being weighted in the initial matrix roughly in proportion to its importance in reading comprehension, as judged by authorities. The principal components were rather readily interpretable in terms of the initial variables. Individual scores in components I and II are sufficiently reliable to warrant their use for practical purposes, and useful measures of other components could be provided by constructing the required number of additional items. The results also indicate need for workbooks to aid in improving students' use of basic reading skills. The study provides more detailed information regarding the skills measured by theCooperative Reading Comprehension Tests than has heretofore been provided regarding the skills actually measured by any other widely used reading test. Statistical techniques for estimating the reliability coefficients of individual scores in principal-axes components, for determining whether component variances are greater than would be yielded by chance, and for calculating the significance of the differences between successive component variances are illustrated.


Component Variance Reading Comprehension Test Item Reliability Coefficient Reading Skill 
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Copyright information

© Psychometric Society 1944

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frederick B. Davis
    • 1
  1. 1.Cooperative Test Service of the American Council on EducationUSA

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